Friday, June 29, 2007

Ick - hee hee

Not sure if this is hilarious or horrible...

This is me grossed out and laughing all at the same time.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Civic Duty

Will someone please tell me why being called for jury duty is cause for whining such as the world has never seen? I mean really. The boss AND his daughter both received notices this week and the joyful hooting from the 'older than 70 years' department can only be matched in volume by the 'I wish I had your excuse' department. This does not factor in the 'how do you get out of it?' department that sits behind me and the '$%#! how I do hate jury duty' department that sits across the aisle. On other days this same set of whiners squeal about how the country is full of selfish people, and no one has respect anymore blah blah blah. While this is true - the country IS full of selfish people and respect is seldom seen or demonstrated, the solution has to start with the individual. "Do as I say, not as I do" is the crappiest answer ever. Why should I listen to you if you won't do what you want me to do? Say it with me boys and girls, "hip...hip...hipocracy." That's half the country's beef with the President. How can he send soldiers to war when he got out of it? How can "they" suggest that others serve on juries when they won't go themselves? Regarding this jury duty thing; I am not among the uninitiated. I've been called to serve twice. And I've had to report to the courthouse both times. I blogged about the first time. The second was not quite as exciting but who says it has to be? It's our civic duty people. It's a responsibility that comes when we "...form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity..."
(Tell me where that comes from and you're smarter than 90% of the nation's population.)
I'm the first to admit the jury selection process is not a perfect system, but if it was perfect what would be the point? (If we were a perfect country we wouldn't have need of courts in the first place.) Democracy is not perfect by any stretch but it's trying to be better than alternatives.
  • Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those others that have been tried from time to time. - Winston Churchill
If we don't serve than who would? Drug dealers? They have all the time in the world to go downtown. Housewives? Well sure, some of the them. County employees? Because the phrase "going postal" came from nowhere. (Think how long the line at the DMV would be if federal employees were the only ones who went to jury duty!) But we have the right to a jury of our peers. Ask anyone you know, work with, live next to: is a gang banger their peer? How about a college student? A housewife? An elementary school teacher? A business man? Wait, the business man and college student try and get out of jury duty. This is interesting. Also this and this. I especially like the part about women fighting for equal rights; to vote, to work, to serve on the jury. And now they think it's too hard or what?
It's pure selfishness in my opinion. "Why do *I* have to go?," "*I* don't have the time," "It's inconvenient for *ME*" Me, me, me, me, me. Grow up.
(If you couldn't tell I am REALLY frustrated with the Whining from the Whiney McWhinersons here in the office.)

This is me asking you Internet People - what is the big deal?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Picture This (#6) - Valedictorian

(Harmonics!!! That was the word I couldn't remember on the return trip from Middleton when we were discussing heights of buildings and which were safer than others (less than 4 is cool, more than 20 is cool - it's the middle group that might have some troubles because of HARMONICS) and why! Gah! I hate when I can't remember what I want to - I do, I do... But enough about me.)
Last Saturday - June 9th, 2007 - not three days ago Saturday, my youngest sister graduated from high school. This is freaky because I was 13 when she was born. She's not supposed to get older and date boys and wear makeup and graduate from high school and go to college, because I couldn't do ANY of that when I met her and if I couldn't do it then why should she? (Yes, I AM disregarding the 18 years between then and now, so what?) Not only did she graduate, she graduated top of her class. Yes, my 'little' sister (she's taller than me too - they're ALL taller than me) was the valedictorian of her high school!! (When did they get smarter AND taller than me?)
The ceremony went as most do - outside on a football field, in the sun, with us all sitting on metal bleachers...just kidding - well not really. It wasn't blistering though, except perhaps for the graduates who were all wearing black! It was really far away though, so thank goodness for my 12x OPTICAL zoom. (Love the digital camera Tarzan - thanks honey!!!)
Anyway, the dean-type chick (This is a conglomerate type school district. Two schools from south of The Desert, the Valley near The Desert, all the home schooled kids and the trade school. So the head of it all isn't really a principal per se...) welcomed us all there:
Then there were speeches, by each group's student body president:
Rather than the valedictorians, which was a slight downer, but D2's school had done their individual awards and whatevers the Thursday before where she got to speak. This girl was quite funny:
Not sure how they picked the guy from the Home Schooled set, but he was hilarious and not too dumb sounding:
Two kids sang "You Raise Me Up" and I didn't think of taking a picture. Then more speaking by the dean-type chick and then it was diploma time! Lining up:
We're walking:
We're shaking hands:
We're not falling down the stairs in our heels:
We're posing for pictures:
And we're walking some more:
Somewhere in there she got her diploma:
A girl sang accompanying herself on the keyboard to close the show. Not too shabby:
Then there were many post ceremony pictures - by herself:
With a teacher whose name I don't remember:
With Mom:
With Mom and Dad:
With the brothers:
With Jane. And Tarzan's eyelids:
Of the whole group who were able to go (A had finals, B's got an internship up north for another month):
This is me proud of my little sister:
Congratulations D2!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fleighund's Party

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Fleighund, AIA. You are now 30 years old!
It was a good party. We went to Houston's (apparently they've been bought by Hillstone) which is a favorite restaurant. And it IS extremely good. The ribs, the filet, the sushi, the cole slaw...There were ten of us, some I knew, some I did not, squeezed into an eight person booth. (We were all quite good friends by the end of the night.)The manager even came over - twice - to see if we wouldn't like to remove some people to another table for more comfort. (Heellllooo it's a birthday party - who would he suggest we move?) Much fun was had, many presents were opened and sometimes I risked the flash. (It's a kinda dark establishment.)
Birthday boy and girlfriend:
The other side of the table:
The other side of the table eating:
The next two are really bad photos, dark and blurry, but if you look close they are worth the effort. Kurt eating ribs with his hands and getting sauce all over his face:
Tarzan and MB eating with their hands and me avoiding the flying BBQ sauce:
The birthday boy and friends drinking after eating:
Chocolate cake!:
Chocolate cake with the flash:
Present with pretty wrapping - must be from a girl:
Happy birthday dude - thanks for inviting us!
This is me posting blind - the office firewall has just been adjusted and won't allow any pages views (I wonder...) so if you comment I will respond but not until I get home after 6:30pm PST.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


This should have been Fleighund's 30th birthday post, but something has come up that is MUCH more urgent. People, you NEED to see The Pirate Queen! Firstly, from all I can glean from the castcom pages, and the interviews and, it's a REALLY good show. Historical, but not dry, dramatic, fun, romantic - everything musical theater should be. Naturally, the music is fabulous - who doesn't love Irish dancing? (heellooo, it's produced by the same people who did Riverdance people, Riv-er-dance. And the composers, Boublil and Schoenberg, ALSO wrote Les Miserables which was my favorite stage production until Wicked - sorry Javert) Thirdly (that was actually two reasons there) it stars Stephanie J. Block who if you haven't been following my blog (shame, shame on you) is fabulous!! She's amazingly talented, with a beautiful voice and she's a really nice person in real life too. She's getting a caricature at Sardi's on Thursday. Next, I love theater AND movies but the homes of each are divided by this entire country and since I can't live in two places I had to choose a coast. It was a tough decision, but see, I have this aversion to snow, so I live in The Jungle. This means I have to wait for national tours if I want to see fantastic live productions like The Pirate Queen. There will be a national tour only if enough people see it on the Snowy Coast and/or buy the soundtrack which is being released July 3rd! JULY 3RD! Buy the soundtrack peoples! That's three weeks from today! Buy Buy Buy! I am totally there.
In fact I almost WAS there! Which brings me to the real point and MOST IMPORTANT REASON why you should go and see The Pirate Queen. Tarzan - the sweetest man EVER - was going to surprise me with a plane ticket to fly to New York to see the show (OMG!! how marvelous is he?! I know!) and he read that it's closing in 6 days because it's not getting good reviews - which I don't see as possible based on all the reasons listed above. Stephanie a-LONE should give it rave reviews and she's not the only spectacular performer in the cast. I mean Hadley Fraser? So hot. And the boy can SING. Marcus Chait - also awesome. Unbelievable. So go! Go! GO! Go see The Pirate Queen so that I can too!!

This is me exhorting you to see The Pirate Queen!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Picture This (#5) - BabyR

I said I would post about Middleton and here we are; me posting, you reading and all is right with the world. Before we get to the good stuff however - I need to share - my cats get a little nervous when I pull out a suitcase so they must inspect it to make sure I am not smuggling any tuna out of the house:
Then Mikey needs to make sure I am taking clean underwear:
So. June 2nd, 2007. A Saturday. (Tarzan and I were SUPPOSED to leave Friday night but what with weekend traffic and the things that I felt I needed to get - because we definitely needed to get all the birthday cards for the entire family for the entire year THAT NIGHT or the world would implode - we felt that it might serve us and those travelling with us better if we slept in our own bed and left for my parents' house early Saturday morning instead.) 5:00am: Not a side of the morning that I usually see you understand:
What possessed me to take shot I do not know, but it revealed to me the awesome-ness of my digital camera and made a cool picture too:
But we made it out to the desert and we all piled into the minivan. Tarzan, brilliant man that he is, brought his laptop and a power supply that plugs into the cigarette lighter. For 9.5 of the 10 hour trip the back seat looked like this:
The Star Wars Lego game was comPLETEly enthralling as we had been driving on the I-40 for probably an hour, were almost through the state and SLB looked up from the computer and said "Oh, look, forest!" (We had been in this 'forest' for nigh on to 100 miles) The front seats looked like this:And this:
The middle seat contained me and the many many boxes, bags and flasks of refreshments necessary for the drive. We made really good time (where do you think I get my need to speed from?) and arrived shortly before 7pm local time. There was much rejoicing and holding of bebes:
LittleJ was quite excited and we understand E's nickname for him - the Blur:
Three generations of men:
LittleJ showing us the soccer ball he likes to throw over the neighbor's fence and make Daddy go and fetch:
He gets to kick it around with Uncle SLB and Grandpa:
Eating part of Grandma's hamburger:
(Still REALLY weird to think of my 'little' brother with kids...) Daddy - Daughter moment:
Grandpa and his first granddaughter (Grandma made the hat):
Then it was time for the kids to go to bed and since church started at 8:30 in the morning (who's the genius who decided THAT?) we all trundled off to the hotel across the way and catch some ZZZZs of our own. Well, most of us did. Cogent had come down earlier in the day so he stopped by and we talked until almost 1am about jobs and girls and school and cities and the usual stuff friends of eleven years talk about. (I blame the fact that it was way late on my not taking any picture of our Dr. Livingston) This one is from his graduation but just in case you forgot his cute face:
It was early (in ALL time zones) when we woke up but we all arrived presentable for church. She was blessed, we went to Sunday School, we learned, we read and then we went home. Much picture taking did commence then. Lunch with family, friends and many bebes:
LittleJ played cars with many people:
Then LittleJ wanted SLB to watch him play with the alphabet puzzle:
What the teenagers did while the rest of us were cooing:
BabyR sitting on Grandma's lap:
Family picture:
Which was cute but a little fuzzy. There was a quasi-professional taking pictures too but they won't capture the magic of the afternoon the way a candid can, like this one; E sneezing during a family picture (please, this is what older sisters DO) :
Three generations:
All the girls:
BabyR, who was SO tired of sitting still ALL afternoon on the slippery couch in her adorable and yet-not-too-adhesive outfit, was ready to make a statement:
But Grandma made it all better:
No one understands like Grandma does, and no one is quite as comfortable:
Then it was time to sleep for all the rest of us...and we were into the van for the trip back. We saw this balloon on our way out of town. Thank you 12x optical zoom:
We were a little more lively on the way home...which may or may not have been a good thing...the back seat was using too much power and the computer couldn't take it so we opted for other activities - much eating was done by all:
We played hearts and got slaughtered by Tarzan, who then slept for a bit:
R3 watched for planes and played cards with himself. He was kinda camera shy, so I'm not sure how I snapped this one:
SLB on the other hand:
Is quite the ham when he gets going - he's not really asleep there:
He took this one of me:
And then we were home - well my parents and brothers were home - it was another two hours for Tarzan and me back to The Jungle, but we made it and it was good to sleep in our bed again. I don't believe one can spend too much time in one's own bed.

This is me, reporting on Middleton.

From Whence You Cometh